Where do you find your identity? Who are you?
Do you define yourself by your career? What if your career is stripped from you? By something in the industry, your failure, or the failures of others? Who are you then? Do you still have value?
What if you lost all your money and had to resort to begging? Would you be just a beggar?
Do you define yourself by your appearance? What if you had a terrible accident or lost your health? Who would you be then?
Do you define yourself by who you are associated with? By your family, your spouse, or your friends? What if they all were gone or turned on you? Who would you be then? Do you still have value as an unmarried person or an outcast?
Do you define yourself by your level of educational attainment? What if you lost your mind? What if your knowledge and skills were not needed in the market anymore? Who would you be then?
Do you define yourself by your children or the lack thereof? What if they turned on you or were gone? What would that say about you? Do you still have worth when you are unable to conceive? What if you have aborted a child? Does that define you?
What if you were paralyzed, blind, and mute? Totally dependent on others? Would you still have value? How would you define yourself then?
What has been stripped away from you? What are you missing today? What is holding you back from moving forward? From enjoying this day?
Certainly sadness is not a crime. Or anger. But what story are you telling yourself about who you are and your place is this world? What story are you telling yourself about God?
Your time is not over. But even if it was… who are you?
Here’s something to consider: you were created in the image of God. What if I am the Sarah-ness of God? What if there is nobody else in all of time past or time future who is able to represent the Sarah-ness of God like I’m able to? What if your name is Joe or Pam and you are the Joe-ness or Pam-ness of God?
Look at the animals. So much diversity. So much Creativity. All of nature, even in its fallen state, is telling us about who God is. He created majestic sealife and silly puppies. Beautiful flowers and huge mountains.
How much more do His humans bear His image? The love that so passionately moves us. The courage we have. Our concern for others. Our creativity. The excellence of an athlete or the smile of a child. Even our tears.
There is only one of you in all of Creation. You alone are able to be you. You alone carry what the world needs to see about the you-ness of God. Nobody else can express that exactly like you can.
Now that would give you meaning everywhere. To yourself. To others. To God.
Of course we pervert the image we have been given. That’s a given and not the issue at hand. But I’d bet a good portion of our perverting comes out of not knowing our value and who we are. Of trying to be something more and yet less than who we already are.
What if God loves you? Really loves you? What if He enjoys nachos and a jamming beat as much as I do? What if He enjoys sunsets and the ocean as much as I do? What if His heart breaks for the broken as much as mine does?
What about you?